Most of us work out to lose weight, manage our weight, or generally look better. On more rare occasions, you might find someone who says they exercise because it helps them to de-stress and benefits their mental health. Both of these are great reasons to get active, but so many people are missing some of the hidden benefits.
Exercise can do so much more for us than just keeping us in shape and acting as a bit of therapy after a long day at work. Here are five extra advantages that make a fitness routine worth the effort.
5 Benefits of Exercise That You Haven’t Considered
Enhanced Brain Health
Let’s not forget that your brain is a muscle. While you’re pumping your biceps, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re also pumping your brain!
Both cardio and strength training have been proved to significantly improve cognitive functioning in people of all ages, improve memory, and reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Of course, along with this comes the benefit of those “happy hormones” your mental health loves so much.
More Balanced Hormones
Speaking of hormones, exercise can help in that department too. Exercise has a powerful effect on balancing, suppressing, and increasing certain hormones.
For example, there is a clear link between working out and testosterone being boosted, which is an important hormone for men (and women too). Other hormones, like cortisol – the stress hormone – can be kept under control when you exercise regularly, which is why working out is such an effective stress management technique. Most experts recommend a combination between strength training and cardio.
Exercise can even help out your gut, believe it or not. Physical activity can help to stimulate the muscles in your intestines, promoting goo digestion and reducing the risk of getting backed up.
There are even yoga poses for digestion, proving the link between your gut health and the way you move. No matter what type of exercise you do on a regular basis, keep at it if you want your systems to be working properly. Even a light walk after your meals can significantly improve the effectiveness of your digestion and help you to feel lighter and less bloated after eating, which is something many people struggle with.
Strengthened Immune System
More than just strengthening your muscles, working out can benefit your overall health by strengthening your immune system.
People who work out regularly are less likely to get sick because their systems are far more resilient to infections and illnesses. Consistent physical activity will continue to build your resistance as you get older and become more vulnerable too.
Better Posture and Balance
Finally, you’ll be pleased to know that exercising can help improve your posture too, giving you that air of confidence you’ve always wanted.
Of course, there are specific exercises that target posture, but lifting weights in general will help strengthen your core and lengthen your muscles to help you stand up straighter and keep those bones and muscles strong and tight.